Senior Trump campaign officials said Sunday that Democrats’ portrayal of Joseph R. Biden as a moderate is a myth, and that President Trump will define Mr. Biden as equal to democratic socialist Sen. Bernard Sanders if the former vice president wins the nomination.
Campaign officials also said Mr. Trump has no plans to alter his schedule of rallies in light of the coronavirus outbreak. The president has no rallies scheduled this week, although he is meeting with supporters in a private roundtable and a fundraiser in Florida on Monday.
“The campaign is proceeding as normal,” a senior official said.
With Mr. Biden looking to cement his lead over Mr. Sanders in Michigan’s primary on Tuesday, Trump campaign communications director Tim Murtaugh said it doesn’t matter which candidate emerges from “the wreckage on the Democratic side.”
“They are down to two, effectively. It truly does not matter to the Trump campaign,” Mr. Murtaugh said. “They agree on almost all of the important issues that they have been talking about since the beginning of this race. They are running on big government socialism.”
Mr. Trump said at a town hall meeting last week that he had been “all set” to campaign against Mr. Sanders in the fall, and was relishing the thought of running against someone he called a “communist.” But he said he doesn’t believe Mr. Sanders can mount a comeback after Mr. Biden took the lead in delegates on Super Tuesday.
While Mr. Sanders supports a “Medicare for All” plan, Mr. Murtaugh said that Mr. Biden’s proposal of a public option amounts to “a fig leaf” to get to a single-payer health care system.
“Joe and Bernie agree that there should be free health care provided to illegal immigrants who are here in this country,” he said. “They agree that deportations should be suspended — that can be described in no other way as an open-borders policy.”
He told reporters in a conference call that Mr. Biden also supports the Green New Deal, a costly energy plan that would wean the U.S. from fossil fuels and shift to energy such as solar power.
“They want to raise taxes on almost all Americans to pay for all these things,” Mr. Murtaugh said. “These two guys are two sides of the same coin.”
A senior campaign official also said Mr. Biden is a “bad candidate” because of his well-documented history of gaffes and “lingering questions” about son Hunter Biden’s sweetheart deal with a Ukrainian energy company while Mr. Biden was vice president.
“As far as his fitness for office, we think Joe Biden would absolutely be a disaster as president,” the official said. “He’s just a bad candidate. He’s never been good at this.”
Trump campaign officials also said Mr. Biden’s blue-collar appeal is a myth that will be exposed in the general election, especially in battleground Rust Belt states.
“He’s got a very serious problem in those states, whether it’s Pennsylvania, Ohio, Michigan, Wisconsin,” and official said. “Joe Biden voted for NAFTA. He was President Obama’s chief cheerleader on the [Trans-Pacific Partnership]. Those are known as notorious job killers. Unions hate NAFTA.”
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